Posted: 07 Oct 2014 10:40 PM PDT
The Income Tax Act does not bar the government from revealing the total amount of income taxes collectively paid by the richest people in Malaysia, Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen said.
This is in contradiction of what Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan said, when replying to a question by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
"There is no provision in section 138 that says that a collective number cannot be disclosed.
"(The Inland Revenue Board) is happy to say that it will collect RM140 billion this year from 2.3 million tax payers and 100,000 companies. That’s a collective number.
"So why can’t they announce a collective number of how much the combined 20 richest persons pay?" he asked in a Facebook post last night.
Further, the MP said, section 138(2)(c) actually gives the minister discretionary powers to disclose information when he sees fit.
However, Wong did not note that the section 138(2)(c) only pertains to disclosure of information in court proceedings.
It states that "no classified material shall be produced or used in court or otherwise, except with the written authority of the minister, or of the person or partnership to whose affairs it relates."
Yesterday Ahmad told the Dewan Rakyat he could not disclose the tax paid by the top 20 richest people in Malaysia as it goes against Section 138 of the Income Tax Act.
He was responding to Anwar, who named the son of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Mokhzani, and business tycoons T Ananda Krishnan and Vincent Tan as among the top 20 richest people in Malaysia.
When asked by Sim Tze Tsin (PKR-Bayan Baru) to give a lump sum figure instead, Ahmad said he needed to check if this is allowed.
Posted: 07 Oct 2014 10:37 PM PDT
By THE EDITORIAL BOARD OCT. 6, 2014
The Malaysian government has increasingly employed the Sedition Act, a British colonial era law, to intimidate and silence political opponents. The law criminalizes speech uttered "to excite disaffection" against the government and defines sedition so broadly that it is an invitation to authoritarian abuse.
Prime Minister Najib Razak had promised to repeal the act, but, since the general elections in May last year, his government has made full use of the law to hound his critics. While Mr. Najib's ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, won 60 percent of the parliamentary seats in the election, for the first time since independence in 1957, the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, won a 51 percent majority of the popular vote.
The elections seem to have shaken the government enough for it to arrest and prosecute an array of politicians, journalists, academics, students, religious leaders and civil society activists who did not advocate the overthrow of the government. For example, a senior opposition politician was charged with sedition for criticizing a decision by the appeals court in a statement to the news media. A local state assemblyman was charged for allegedly saying "damn, damn" about the government's United Malays National Organization to several assemblymen. Since 2013, at least 14 people have been charged. Those found guilty can face up to three years in prison.
Mr. Najib's crackdown is a deplorable attack on free speech and a serious threat to democracy. He appeared to understand this danger when he promised to repeal the Sedition Act. He should do so immediately.
|You are subscribed to email updates from Anwar Ibrahim |
To stop receiving these emails, you may unsubscribe now.
|Email delivery powered by Google|
|Google Inc., 20 West Kinzie, Chicago IL USA 60610|